Tag Archives: Flextime

The Importance of Employee Engagement

Are You doing enough to motivate your workforce?

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Arguably, the biggest single threat to staff retention and productivity within the workplace is the issue of employee engagement. Employee engagement may be defined as a way of working whereby employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values and motivated to contribute to the overall success of the business, while at the same time being able to enhance their own sense of accomplishment and self-worth.

Employee engagement is vital to the successful running of an organisation in two different ways:

  1. Employee engagement improves employee attitude, meaning that the employee will feel a sense of loyalty and pride at being part of the organisation, as a result of the support and positive reinforcement they receive.
  2. Employee engagement will improve the employee’s actions, meaning their output and productivity. This is because the engaged worker feels a sense of accomplishment in completing a task well, knowing that their actions will be appreciated and appropriately rewarded by their employer.

There is evidence to suggest that failure to properly engage employees may have a detrimental effect upon company growth. Studies have shown that absenteeism is 37% worse for organisations with disengaged workers, while there is a 4% increase in safety incidents within disengaged workplaces. Furthermore, it has been discovered that productivity plummets by 21% when workers are not properly engaged.

It’s clear, therefore, that proper employee engagement is vital to maintenance and growth of a business, and must be an integral part of your long-term strategy. Here is a brief guide to engaging your employees and securing the growth of your business.

 Do not confuse engagement with short-term happiness

You might offer unlimited holidays, free beer on Fridays and a host of other benefits designed to instil a relaxed, positive working culture. However, this will count for nothing unless your employees are properly engaged. As a result, is important to consider what will really make your employees feel more motivated and fulfilled, rather than hoping that flexible benefits will be enough to keep your staff feeling motivated and keen to improve.

Think CSR

Corporate social responsibility is the way forward, and is increasingly becoming the main way in which companies attract and retain new candidates. This is because the millennial generation are overwhelmingly preoccupied with CSR. 80% of a sample of 1,800 13-25 year olds claimed that their ideal workplace would be one which cares about how it impacts and contributes to society. The majority of this claimed they would refuse to work an ‘irresponsible’ organisation.

One way of improving your business’s CSR might be the introduction of ‘flex-days’ in which time could be devoted to helping out at local charities or projects within the wider community. Building your company’s social responsibility will be vital to harnessing the talented candidates needed for it to grow and thrive.

Make the most of positivity and reinforcement.

Psychologists claim that self-determination is vital for true employee engagement, meaning that staff must feel personally invested in the business in order to deliver maximum productivity and favourable results. How to instil a sense of self-determination in your staff? One way might be to encourage your employees to choose their own projects to work on. By allotting time each week for your staff to work on their own projects autonomously, you will allow them to feel increased pride in their work, and this will contribute to more employee engagement overall.

Also highly important is adequate support and feedback, which will allow your employees to feel that their results are being measured and dully rewarded, which in the long-term will aid staff retention.

Flexibility and Trust will allow your employees to work like adults

Fostering a culture of trust within your workplace is key to truly engaged employees. Employees who are trusted to work to a high standard without constant supervision will deliver optimum results. Employees who are chained to their desk and not trusted to work independently will have less motivation to prove their worth! Studies have proven that flexibility at work makes for increased productivity, whereas ridged ‘presenteeism’ stifles creativity. In short, accommodating the need for flexibility in your business will lead to genuine engagement throughout your organisation.

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How Flexible Working Can Protect your Business

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Source: News Shopper

Use Flexible Working to Strike-Proof Your Employees’ Productivity!

After recent news of the threat of London tube strikes, there are fears that further rows could erupt, with the potential to cause maximum disruption and widespread chaos.

A planned three-day strike by London Underground workers in a dispute over ticket office closures was abandoned after last-ditch talks. The breakthrough was made on Monday, resulting in the Rail, Maritime and Transport union succeeding in guaranteeing that all members who are relocated or who have their roles changed will retain the same pay.

But does this mark the end of the dispute? According to some, it is unlikely that this is the end of the matter. Despite negotiations, the threat of disruptive industrial action still looms large.

The possibility of strike action strengthens the case for flexible working. With new technology, employees are more and more able to work remotely, including from their own homes. This, coupled with new statistics on the efficacy of flexible working further questions the relevancy of the traditional office in a digital age.

These recent events (and the upcoming changes to flexible working) show that it is high time for businesses to reassess, and view flexible working as a means of protecting their business from the chaos that would result from transport strikes, while simultaneously building an infrastructure which promotes growth.

Homeworking/remote working refers to work done at home, or outwith the primary office environment. However, remote working may also refer to situations where only part of an employee’s workload is completed outside of the office. Therefore, it is reasonable to suggest that a degree of remote working could be introduced into the majority of employees’ schedules. For businesses wishing to check up on the productivity of their workers, there are monitoring systems in place and this can reassure employers. There is also much to be said about the cost-effective nature of remote working. In a recent study by Deloitte it was found that 30 to 40 percent of physical working environment are vacant at any given moment on an average business day. Decrease reliance on offices and cut overhead costs unnecessary costs. There is even evidence that allow workers greater flexibility will boost productivity. Finally, increased flexible working could also be beneficial for the environment, in that cutting commuter traffic in busy cities would dramatically reduce carbon emissions.

While no-one can say for sure whether or not the threat of London Tube Strikes has subsided, now certainly seems like a good time for employees to take into account the diverse benefits that remote working can bring.

Changes to UK Flexible Working Legislation in June 2014

What Employees Need to Know

source: miguel-co.com

You may have heard about the upcoming changes to employment in the UK. Currently, only parents of children aged 16 or under, or disabled children under the age of eighteen have the right to apply to work more flexibly.  Furthermore, they are only able to make this request after having worked for their employer for 26 weeks continuously before making the application, must not have made another application to work flexibly under the right during the past 12 months.

However, as of the 30th of June 2014, all UK employees will gain the right to request flexible working after 26 weeks’ service, rather than only those with children under the age of 17 (or 18 if the child is disabled) and those with other caring responsibilities.

But what does this really mean? Here are a few of your top questions answered

What counts as flexible working?

Many different modes of working can be described as flexible employment. These include:

Job sharing: This usually means two people being employed in the same role and job and splitting the hours.

Working from home: This is when the employee does some (or all) of the work from home or anywhere else other than the normal place of work.

Part time: This refers to any arrangement involving working less than full-time hours (usually by working fewer days).

Compressed hours: This means working full-time hours but over fewer days than normal.

Flexitime: The employee chooses when to start and end work (within agreed limits). Usually, the employee will have previously agreed ‘core hours’.

Annualised hours: The employee is required to undertake a certain number of hours over the year but they have some flexibility about when they work.

Staggered hours: The employee has different start, finish and break times from other workers.

Phased retirement: Now that the previous default retirement age has been phased out, older workers have more choice over their employment. This means that they might reduce their hours or work part-time.

Does the new flexible working legislation guarantee that I can work flexibly?

No, as there are reasons that your employer can use to turn down your request for flexible. However, in rejecting your request they must provide

For what reasons can my employer turn down my request for flexible working?

There are several reasons why your employer may turn down your request for flexible working. For example:

  • Implementing flexible working may involve extra costs which would be detrimental to the business
  • Flexibility would not allow the business to meet customer demand
  • It is not possible for the work to be reorganised among other staff
  • It is not possible for people to be recruited to do the work
  • Flexible working arrangements would have an effect on quality and performance
  • There is insufficient work to do during the proposed working times
  • The business is in the process of planning changes to the workforce

Where should  I go to get more information on flexible working?

If you require more information on these changes go to GOV.UK, or ACAS.

Flexiworkforce is set to launch soon, and will be one of the few UK online jobsites specifically dedicated to matching workers with exciting opportunities to fit flexibly around their needs and life commitments. Follow us today for updates!

Life/Work Balance 101

Is Your Job Taking Over Your Life?

24 Ways To Tell You Don't Understand Work-Life Balance

20th Century Fox / Via wifflegif.com

Many of us are now working from home, telecommuting or working remotely. The advantages of these new, flexible modes of working are numerous. However, for some, working from home does pose a risk to wellbeing, in that it can be difficult for those new to flexible hours to effectively separate work from homelife.

In a recent Daily Mail article, psychologist Emma Kenny claimed that in order to achieve a perfect work/life balance people should work a maximum of 2.5 hours a day. Follow these tips to ensure that your job doesn’t take over your life!

1. Only work in a particular designated zone– By separating your office area from the rest of your home, you will prevent your work from invading your private life. Declutter this area regularly in order to prevent an unneccessary build-up of papers.

2. Spend time outdoors- Make sure that working from home doesn’t prevent you from having regular contact with the outside world! Take time to go for a walk every day. Even if it’s just for ten or fifteen minutes, enjoying fresh air will boost your concentration levels and prevent your energy levels from flagging in the afternoons.

3. In the evenings… Switch Off- The ‘Flexible Revolution’ has enabled an increasing amount of workers to enjoy the benefits of a less concrete 9 to 5 routine. However, this means that it can be easy to work too hard. Tackle this issue by aiming to avoid working throughout the night. Of course, this may not always be possible, but aiming to spend evenings socialising instead of working may be key to achieving a strong work/life balance resulting in overall life satisfaction

4. Go mobile- Technology  has provided us with a plethora of apps which claim to offer us the tools to navigate modern life. Take advantage of these by using your smartphone to aid your flexible routine. Apps such as Expensfy, or the Self-Control app (for Macs only) for those who are keen to stick to their routine. Shoeboxed.com have a great list of apps which aim to help improve work/life balance.

5. Get an enjoyable hobby- Cultivate richness and variety in your life by gaining a new pastime which excites you and which you feel passionate about. Preferably, choose something creative, which you can do with others or alone as a way of winding down after a hard day’s work.

How Employers Can Aim to Build a Loyal Team

Earning the Respect of Your Employees Now Will Pay Off in the Future!

When leading a team of individuals, it is important to remember make each member of your team feel useful, valuable and necessary to the functioning of the group as a cohesive unit. Here are some points all employers should bear in mind when dealing with when negotiating with their staff.

We’re all familiar with the cliched ‘boss from Hell’ trope, take action now to make sure that you’re not comparable with this stereotype!

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This guy is my hero.

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A Little Bit of Freedom Goes a Long Way

Giving your employees leeway to do their own thing allows them to showcase creative freedom which will prevent your staff from feeling like robots or indentured servants. Your employees will appreciate the faith and confidence that you have in them, and this is sure to pay off in the long-term future of your business

See Your Employees as Individuals

This is crucial. Make sure that you greet your staff by name when you see them first thing in the morning. Aim to raise a smile, even if you’re rushed off your feet. Thank them for their contributions and listen and pay heed to their needs and requests, including requests for greater flexibility at work! Sounds simple, but treating your employees as respected and valued individuals is one of the easiest ways to foster loyalty within your company and earn the respect of your workers.

Share your Vision

When you have a busy team of staff working underneath you, it is difficult to effectively convey your long-term hopes and ambitions. Set targets with your employees and aim to work towards this vision. This is key to creating loyal bonds and creating meaning for your workers. As a strong, unit, you will quickly stride towards your ambitions and beyond.

Keep this point in mind and prepare for major ‘cool boss’ kudos!

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